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Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) Program: A Letter Support, Certificate, and Venture Capital Roles in 2024

Austin Campbell



Start-Up Visa (SUV) program

The journey to permanent residency in Canada as an immigrant entrepreneur involves navigating the intricate landscape of the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program. In this blog guide, we will understand the essential elements of the process, from commitment certificates and letters of support to knowing venture capital and more.

Start-Up Visa Foundation in Canada

For those dreaming aspirations of calling Canada their destination through the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program requirements, securing commitment certificates and letters of support from designated entities stands out as a crucial step. Despite their shared objective, these documents assume distinct roles in the process of application.

A Commitment Certificate is assumed as an official contract dispatched by a designated entity within the private sector. Its purpose is to affirm unequivocal support under the umbrella of the SUV. Conversely, a Letter of Support emanates from a designated collective of angel investors or a venture capital fund.

An important consideration lies in recognizing that when a designated entity, be it an angel investor, a business incubator, or a venture capital reservoir, elects a specific applicant’s entrepreneurial endeavor under the Canada SUV program.

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Dispatched to IRCC, these commitment certificates must include detailed information about:

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  • The designated entity
  • The applicant
  • The entrepreneurial team applying under the Start-Up Visa program
  • The type of business and its objectives
  • The business structure
  • Background information
  • Work permits for the essential applicant or applicants

Commitment certificates are valid for 6 months, during which the applicant must apply for permanent residence and, if applicable, a work permit.

Venturing into Letters of Support

In contrast, letters of support, provided by designated organizations, are handed directly to the applicant or applicants themselves. Each application under the SUV can include up to five applicants, and each must receive a letter of support. These letters should contain detailed information about the designated organization, the commitment certificate, the applicant, and the team leading the proposed business venture.

The immigrant entrepreneur incorporates these letters of support into their permanent residence application under the SUV, enhancing their case for approval.

Financial Areas of the SUV Program

It’s important to clarify that Canada does not provide financial support to new SUV immigrants. Candidates need to demonstrate sufficient unencumbered, available, and transferable settlement funds to support themselves and their dependents in Canada. This money cannot be borrowed and varies based on the size of the candidate’s family.

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Timeline and Requirements

With a viable start-up business project, immigrant entrepreneurs can expect the process to take about four to six months to secure commitment certificates or letters of support from designated entities. Once obtained, the application for permanent residence can be submitted, with the entire process taking approximately 18 months until the issuance of a permanent residence visa.


To qualify for permanent residence, the candidate must ensure:

  • The intended business is incorporated and operating in Canada.
  • The candidate owns at least 10% of the voting rights in the corporation.
  • No other person holds 50% or more of the voting rights in the corporation.

Up to five candidates can have their permanent residence applications supported by the same business investment. However, a risk exists, as essential candidates withdrawing their applications or facing refusals may lead to the termination of all applications under the same business investment.

Understanding Venture Capital Funds

As an integral part of the SUV initiative, the pivotal role undertaken by venture capital funds in furnishing fiscal backing to international citizens cannot be overstated. The tally of such financial entities has increased by a noteworthy 33% within a short span. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has officially recognized and sanctioned 28 venture capital funds earmarked for extending financial support to immigrant visionaries.

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These 28 venture capital funds include

7 Gate VenturesAlt Ventures
Apex Innovative Investments VenturesArete Pacific Tech Ventures (VCC) Corp
BCF VenturesBDC Venture Capital
Celtic House Venture PartnersExtreme Venture Partners LLP
First FundGolden Venture Partners Fund, LP
INP CapitaliNovia Capital Inc.
Intrinsic Venture CapitalLumira Ventures
Invest Nova ScotiaPRIVEQ Capital Funds
Real VenturesRed Leaf Capital Corp
Relay VenturesScaleUp Venture Partners, Inc.
Tangentia VenturesTop Renergy Inc.
Vanedge Capital Limited PartnershipVersion One Ventures
WhiteHaven VentureWestcap Management Ltd.
Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund
  • When a prospective immigrant applies under the SUV, their business idea needs support from designated groups, who select proposals for review based on their criteria and intake processes.

Finalizing the SUV Application Process Journey

Upon receiving a letter of support, the candidate can proceed with the application process. It takes approximately 18 months to finalize the application until the issuance of a permanent residence visa, provided the candidate meets the program’s criteria.

In conclusion, Canada SUV program offers a pathway for immigrant entrepreneurs to establish themselves in Canada. By understanding the nuances of commitment certificates, letters of support, and the role of venture capital funds, candidates can navigate this journey with confidence.

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